stock photos

Women’s Bay, Alaska – 98% of Shoppers abandon their full shopping carts.
In an event termed, “Reality imitating the Internet,” a trove of shoppers left shopping carts full of merchandise at the checkout counters of this small Alaskan discount retailer.
“Everything seemed fine, “ said store owner Edsel “Mac” Jones. “They were shopping, comparing prices, asking questions… then they just dropped off their carts and left.”
Jones estimates that some 100 carts were left for his employees to restock, and that only two store visitors completed their purchases.
When asked why they didn’t complete the checkout, shopper Marnisia “Seeya” Firth said, “Oh, I don’t have any money. I just love to shop! I still want to go abandon something at Crazy Lorath’s down the street before they close. Then maybe I’ll catch a movie.”
“Easy. The line was too long,” said abandoning shopper Mustapha Monty, who estimated he spent an hour filling his cart. “I wasn’t really sure I wanted all this stuff, and then there were these two other people in line ahead of me, so I bailed. I’ve got places to be!”
Another shopper complained that they were afraid the store bagging clerk would require a tip. “I wasn’t sure what was appropriate. Tip? Don’t tip? It was easier just to leave.”
Store owner Jones lamented that he and his staff would have to restock all of the items. “I’ll probably have to close down for a few hours. How do Internet stores restock all of their empty carts?”
“Restock?” asked a shopper overhearing our interview. “Can’t you just leave it here in case I come back?”
In related news, diners in a New York bodega request to read the store’s privacy policy before ordering.
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Are you collecting abandoned shopping carts at the end of your day? Let us help fix that!
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I’ve got some eye-candy and ear-hums for those of you who hate reading. My tour of Europe (Frankfurt, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden) yielded a variety of media.

Sketch of conversion scientist Brian Massey @bmassey at #cjam3
Our brains are good at ignoring the typical so that we don’t miss the life-threatening: Wind on the grass vs. the steps of a predator.
Per Axbom

Lab Coats Were All the Rage

My fantastic hosts, André Morys and John Ekman easily earned their Conversion Scences lab coats for exemplary work in progressing the science of conversion. Co-speaker Natalie Nahai (the WebPschologist) found the 1200 thread count thermal weave to be warming on a cool Stockholm night.

Natalie Craig Ton Andre Brian Lab Coat ConversionJAM Brian Massey John Ekman lab coat Natalie Nahai Lab Coat

An Audio Preview

brian massey cjam3 podcast interview uxpodcastThe James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom recorded a short (14:36 min) interview. You should listen to it, and if you want to learn more, check out the complete audio of my presentation.

Live the Full Presentation as if you were THERE

Follow along with the slides.

How to Design Kickass Long Form Sales Pages-ConversionXL

@peeplaja “People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”

I get a lot of questions about sales letter styled landing pages. Do they work? Do I need to write that much?

My stock answer is that they do work, but that your copywriter needs to know what they are doing. These kind of landing pages typically work with visitors that already know and follow your business.

Peep says it best: “Buyers are readers.” There is more wisdom in this entertaining post. 

Want to get Brian’s For Further Study posts delivered right to your inbox? Click HERE to sign up.

Mar 21, 2013 09:38 am

Comments:

  •  @smexaminer While images are important for social media to help break through the noise, they are also very important on our landing pages, home pages and other web pages.
    Unfortunately, we often resort to what I call “business porn” in my book. Business porn includes stock photos of multi-racial smiling people, of graphs going up and to the right, and of cheerful women with headsets.
    So if you are struggling with what to use for visuals on your site or in your emails, here are 26 excellent ideas.  – Brian Massey

Tags: images, visuals, business porn

Levitation 3I’ve written about being the “Cheerios Guy” of your organization; that is, running around talking up what you’ve learned as you’ve tested things on your Web site. Yes, it’s can be irritating, but it is VERY necessary.
The real question is, how do you equip your CMO to be the Cheerios Guy? You can’t show him or her the charts, spreadsheets and test results. When they get button-holed by the water cooler or broad-sided in the board room, they need a little swagger. You need to tell the story that lies in the data.
You need to give them a Book of Swagger.
Rose Holston takes us through the Book of Swagger, a device invented by digital communications guru Korye Logan in The Agile Marketer and the Book of Swagger.

The aim of the “Book of Swagger” is to be simple:

  • A prologue. A short narrative that sets the stage for the story. Statistics and web analytics define a baseline from whence we came (the past) and where we are today (the present).
  • Conflict and resolution. Talk about the drama of “wins” and “revelations” as the team completes scrum after scrum.
  • The future. Your communications toolkit becomes the basis for looking to the future. This is where your “Book of Swagger” illustrates the wins and losses that feed our mid-management and C-suite folks with information that helps to set the agenda.

Read the entire article
Photo courtesy bizior.

Are Bassett’s products as bad as their e-mail?

More on Email Marketing from The Conversion ScientistI’ve gotten three e-mails from Bassett Furniture this week. I did not opt-in for this communication. And, to top it off, the e-mail address they sent to is used in one place: my kids’ elementary school. It’s the address I expect to get information from my kids’ school. This sort of thing disgusts me enough to blog about it.
Will you vote for this on Digg and Sphinn? They need to get the message. You can do so at the bottom of this post by clicking on “Share.”

We Know How this Happened

This is probably more common in the tough market that retailers are currently facing. Some executive says, “We’ve got to get more sales. Use e-mail.” The underlings say, “But, we don’t have a database of e-mails because you didn’t approve that program last year.”
The execs don’t want to hear it. They’ve got a bonus to worry about. So, the underlings go out and buy a list from a list broker. This list was probably presented to them as a list of opt-in email addresses. List providers lie knowing that they can always hide behind the “we were told it was opt-in” excuse.
Bassett, this is not an opt-in list. It was scrapped from an elementary school Web site in Round Rock, Texas. You may get away with infringing on my privacy, but stay away from my kids.

Dear Bassett, in a down market, take market share away from your competitors, don’t give it away.

Poorly Executed to Boot

Once they’d found the list, the Bassett underlings asked, “what do we send?” Well, they didn’t spend much time on that question. They essentially scanned a print flyer and sent it on as one big image.

No introductory text

On my smart phone and in my email client, all you see is an email from Bassett Furniture and a URL.
image
This is what the email looks like in my e-mail preview pane.
With images turned off in my client, I got a big blank page. That’s their value proposition. “Big blank desperate spammer.”
There is no setup text to tell me why I would open it. Of course, I opened it because the address was scraped from the Web site of the school my elementary age kids attend.

No Value Proposition

Actually, “We’re Desperate” wouldn’t have been a bad value proposition. I would have responded to:

“We’re overstocked on the kind of furniture you’ve been wanting for your home, and we’re discounting to move it.”

No compelling call to action

If you allow your e-mail client to download the big stupid image, it says “Buy Online” at the top and bottom, and tells you when their sale ends. Most of the center is taken up with nine images of beds, tables and sofas with discounted prices. The never ask me to “Learn more” or “See more pictures.”

Not written in English

At the bottom of the page, below the big blank space you’ll find this lame — so lame — call to action: “Contact You Local Store for Details and other Special Offers. [sic]”
It makes you wonder what language this was translated from. “All your base are belong to us.”
The store finder is a nice feature and other retailers should steal this one shining feature of the site. Of course, Bassett fumbled the most important aspect of this effort: getting people to buy what they advertise.

Bad landing page

Given my horrid impression of Bassett from their e-mail, could they save themselves with an online experience that rocks? Nope.
The big graphic is a big link. No surprise. The page it takes me to has non of the products advertised in the email. In fact, it picks something at random  from their “CLEARANCE” tab. The featured item changes with each click.
So, the trail to a discounted item is lost within the first click, and I’m outta there.

The lawyers were consulted

To their credit, they did consult the lawyers. Their spam-mail is CAN SPAM compliant, with opt-out and mailing address.

What you should learn from this

1. Don’t buy lists. It’s too easy to generate your own, pure, powerful opt-in house list from your own Web site. You just have to be willing to put in the time.
2. Before you send an e-mail with a big image, consider plain text. It works better on phones and in e-mail clients where images are turned off (>50% by most accounts).
3. Give me a reason to open and read. Each email has a value proposition that is part of your business’s value proposition. State it. Clearly.
4. Take me to a page that has what you offer in your email. Whether it’s information or products, I have to see the same picture or the same text on the landing page. Never take me to your home page. Please.
5. Have someone review your copy, someone who knows English.
6. Follow the CAN SPAM rules. It’s the only reason I can’t report these idiots.
I’m not going to go into their subject line and From: address. It’s amazing that they even thought to include these.
I suspect Bassett’s marketing underlings will be fired for poor performance this Holiday Season. Maybe this post will save them.
For more rants and helpful tips on e-mail marketing, subscribe to The Conversion Scientist blog.